Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi during a UEFA Europa League group stage match between Celtic and Bayer Leverkusen at Celtic Park, on September 30, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Celtic endured a harrowing night in the Europa League as they were swept aside by a ruthless Bayern Leverkusen side as defensive mistakes once again cost Ange Postecoglou’s men.
The classy Bundesliga outfit ran out dominant 4-0 winners to maintain their winning start to Group G and inflicted a damaging blow to the Hoops chances of progressing to the knockout stages.
Piero Hincapie capitalised on a moment of uncertainty from David Turnbull to give the Germans a 25th minute lead, before wonderkid Florian Wirtz added a second goal just ten minutes later with a clever lob over Joe Hart.
A penalty from Lucas Alario just before the hour mark killed any hopes of a Celtic comeback and substitute Amine Adli rifled home the goal of the match in the closing moments to administer one final body blow to a wounded Celtic side.
The only real positive for the Australian head coach was the return of key players from injury, with Kyogo Furuhashi and skipper Callum McGregor both proving their fitness in time to start to the game, while Greek striker Giorgos Giakoumakis finally made his long-awaited debut as a second half substitute.
Here, GlasgowWorld rates how Ange Postecoglou’ men performed:
JOE HART – 7
Experienced shot-stopper who was starting his 78th European game. Produced a terrific point-blank save to deny the lively Moussa Diaby early on but had no chance with three of Leverkusen’s goal and dived the wrong way from spot kick. Kept the scoreline down with an outstretched hand to tip Patrick Schick’s downward header away.
ANTHONY RALSTON – 5
Started the game well but was sloppy in possession and caught out of position of the visitors second goal. Had a powerful shot from the edge of the box deflected wide late on.
CARL STARFELT – 6
Used the ball well at times but was too often left short at the back. Saw his first half volley on the turn expertly tipped round the post by Lukas Hradecky.
CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS – 4
Found it difficult to keep tabs on Leverkusen striker Lucas Alario and struggled to impose himself. Left exposed at the second goal and was booked for handball inside the penalty box.
ADAM MONTGOMERY – 4
Youngster who has been thrown in at the deep end and endured a tough night. Struggled to keep up with the pacey Jeremie Frimpong all evening. Unfortunate deflection that led to Leverkusen’s opener but will learn from the experience.
CALLUM McGREGOR – 6
A huge boost for Celtic as the skipper returned from injury. Worked tirelessly and had a deflected effort fly narrowly over the crossbar. Withdrawn just after the hour mark ahead of busy run of domestic and international fixtures.
DAVID TURNBULL – 4
Won’t want to watch Leverkusen’s first goal back in a hurry. Horrendous error in the build-up saw him caught in two minds. Struggled to make much of an impact.
TOM ROGIC – 5
Looked lethargic in spells during the first half despite some neat touches. Was shown a harsh yellow card for protecting the ball and hooked after 65 minutes.
LIEL ABADA – 5
Solid start and supplied clever pass for Furuhashi’s early chance. Missed a glorious chance by side-footing wide of the target after Jota’s curing shot was saved by Hradecky.
FELIPE JOTA – 7
Another lively display from the skilful Portuguese winger. Caused the Leverkusen defence problems and had a good battle with Frimpong. Denied on two occasions by the outstanding Hradecky.
KYOGO FURUHASHI – 6
Surprise inclusion in the starting line-up after returning from injury absence. Will be wondering how he never scored. Rounded the goalkeeper but was denied then failed to convert a one-on-one chance. Subbed with 15 minutes remaining.
NIR BITTON – 3
The Israeli was brought on to fill the defensive midfield role and did his job.
JAMES McCARTHY – 3
Came on for Rogic after 66 minutes but was anonymous.
ALBIAN AJETI – 2
The mis-firing Swiss striker replaced the tiring Furuhashi but did nothing of note.
GIORGOS GIAKOUMAKIS – 3
Looked sharp on his debut and almost flicked home a Ralston shot. Will improve with more game-time.